But What Have I to Offer?

The little boy was only about 8 years old,
bright-eyed, blonde, and so very cute.

He came up to me that Wednesday evening
before the crusade service started and said, “I
have something for you, Rexella!”

I smiled down at this vibrant little guy, knelt
beside him, and asked, “What is it?”

He excitedly held out a brown paper bag for me
to open. Inside was a freshly-baked, crusty-brown
loaf of bread. “Oh, how nice!” I exclaimed. “Did
your mother make this for me?”

“No, I did!” he said proudly. “I made it for you.”

I couldn’t keep from giving him a hug of appreciation
for his gift that meant so much to me. To
some it may not have seemed like much — a
slightly misshapen, slightly overdone loaf of
homemade bread. But behind it was an
overflowing supply of generosity and love for my
husband and me.

And even little is much when it is given with love.

Jesus confirmed this with His comments about
the giving of a poor widow who dropped two tiny
coins into the offering at the Temple. Contrasted
with the large sums being given by the wealthy,
her gift must have seemed insignificant to those
who looked on. But the Lord said, “This woman
has given more than all the others. They gave a
portion of their abundant wealth — she gave all
she had, even her very living” (see Mark 12:41-44).

I think it is very significant indeed that Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, took note of that small,
sacrificial gift and said that, in His eyes, it was worth
more than all the other gifts put together. The New
Testament account doesn’t actually say so, but I
wonder if God didn’t bless those two little coins
and multiply their value many times over!

How God will use your gift

He did that one day with a little lad’s lunch of
five loaves and two fishes. Jesus multiplied that
simple sack-lunch into enough to feed a multitude
of 5,000… with lots of leftovers.

I believe the Lord performed this miracle for
more than one reason. Yes, He felt compassion for
the multitude that had followed Him and listened
to His teaching all day long. He wanted to meet
their physical need and satisfy their hunger for
food as He had satisfied their thirst for spiritual truth.

But I believe this miracle may also have been to
encourage the faith of His disciples. Perhaps they
may have been tempted to send the multitude
away hungry (“what good is so little among so
many?”) and use the few loaves and fishes as a
meager snack for the staff.

But the Lord demonstrated in a graphic way
that, in His kingdom, there is always enough to
meet the need. He blessed and broke the bread
and fish, then had them serve the hungry people.
When everybody had eaten his fill, the disciples
gathered up what was left. And there were 12
baskets full — one basket for each disciple!

What a great lesson! What a great miracle! Yet, it
could not have happened without the unselfish
giving of the little boy who handed over his lunch.
What if he had said, “There are too many hungry
people here, and I have barely enough food for
myself. I can’t afford to give… and what little I
have wouldn’t make much difference anyhow.”

But he did what he could do — shared what he
had. And his gift fed a multitude… and taught
Jesus’ disciples a great lesson. Plus, I’ve always
felt the little boy must have ended up taking more
food home that night than he’d started out with.
So he had a chance to witness to his parents about
what the Lord had said and done.

Who could have blamed the poor widow if she
had said, “Look at all the rich offerings the
wealthy people are giving at the Temple. I have
only these two mites — worth less than a penny.
There’s no way I can give. No one would even know
if I did give, or miss my tiny offering if I didn’t.”

But out of love for God she gave — and Jesus
himself noticed and called attention to her generosity!

Your giving is important

So often people look at the worldwide soulwinning
outreaches of Jack Van Impe Ministries and
feel that our program is so big that we don’t need
their help. “What I have to give is so little in comparison
to your need that I’m embarrassed to even
offer it,” they say. In essence they’re saying, “But
what have I to offer?”

You know what this ministry is doing. We’re on
weekly television, with regional audiences that
are growing with each telecast. The rating
services say that already we are number one with
some segments of the viewing audience. Our goal
is to blanket all of the U.S. and Canada with
our program ministering to multiplied millions
each week.

In addition, our overseas radio broadcasts are
touching thousands upon thousands of homes
across Europe and in many other countries. Each
month we receive letters from people in many
nations who have been blessed and helped
through this outreach.

And we are able to do this on a fraction of the
budget of many larger organizations. It has
always been our policy to hold overhead expenses
to an absolute minimum and use virtually all of
our funds for pure ministry. And we make sure the
ministry gets full value for every dollar invested.
That’s the secret of how we have been able to
accomplish so much on a fairly small income.

And this is why every support gift we receive is
important. Even a small offering sent to Jack Van
Impe Ministries very probably will accomplish as
much as a larger amount given to a “big name”
organization. Some friends also have the
misconception that most of this ministry’s support
comes from those who give very large amounts —
thousands and tens of thousands!

We have no corporate sponsors, no denominational
underwriting, no group of wealthy
benefactors. Actually, what keeps us going are the
regular, faithful, sacrificial gifts of friends who
send $10, $20, or $50 each month, or as often as
they can. Every gift we receive — large or small —
is important.

What is in your hand?

What do you have to offer? Give that. For
remember, to whom much is given, much is
required. But even if you had absolutely no material
possessions, you still could give your love,
your encouragement, your prayers. It means so
much to know our friends are standing with us.

What do you have to offer? What God has placed
in your hands. What you are willing to give to His
work. If all you have to give to God in Jesus’ name
is a cup of cold water, then that is all God expects.

For if there be first a willing mind, it is
accepted according to that a man hath, and not
according to that he hath not
(2 Corinthians 8:12).

Over the years the Lord has blessed my
husband and me with many precious friends who
have shared the burdens and the opportunities of
this ministry. Occasionally, in addition to the
support given for our work, we have received a card or
a word of encouragement, or a small personal gift.
I have appreciated all of them.

But I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night when
that charming 8-year-old brought me the best he
had to offer, a loaf of bread he baked himself!